RELATIONSHIPS: Support a matter of giving and receiving
By Danielle Lambrick
Does your partner give you the support you need?
It’s natural to expect emotional support from the person to whom you’re closest.
This is initially what sends many people to a counsellor – to seek the support they’re not getting from their partner.
While there are many reasons why your partner may not be supportive (or why you perceive that he or she is not supportive), knowing the reason why doesn’t necessarily resolve the issues of resentment, loneliness, lack of connectedness and isolation.
Many couples struggle with a lack of support and emotional connection even when they’re together.
Support is multidimensional, as it requires energy to be given from the emotional, mental, physical and spiritual realm.
It also requires each individual to accept that they are worthy of receiving support. If either partner is blocked in either fluid direction, both will feel “the void.”
Relationships strengthen when couples learn how to support one another. Both partners need to feel that they are a high priority in the relationship.
When one feels down, the other must learn to assist, encourage and provide care as needed.
Supporting one another is done through direct communication and is built upon a fluid, give-and-take progression. This process of giving and receiving is what directly supports your partner and inevitably leads to a happy, fulfilling relationship.
Support, however, must also be available outside the relationship.
In a 2006 study, 19 per cent of individuals stated that their spouse was their sole confidant.
As a counsellor, this concerns me because it means that when couples split up, nearly one in five people will be without their sole source of emotional support.
This is why, just as it’s important to have the support of your partner, it’s equally important to have a strong external support network as well.
Danielle Lambrecht is a clinical counsellor specializing in couples counselling, mental health and addictions. She can be reached at 250-898-9847 or online at www.daniellelambrecht.ca.